Christian Early didn’t begin painting until he was 17 years old. From his first attempts — awkward and unremarkable due to his impaired fine-motor skills — no one would have expected him to become the accomplished artist he is today at age 26.
Christian’s mom, Mayra Ron, an exuberant woman of many talents, wasn’t deterred by his rudimentary efforts or the fact that he was a late bloomer. She realized painting was something Christian enjoyed, and she believed in his potential — despite having been told by “experts” that Christian’s autism would prevent him from achieving any kind of success. His diagnosis places him in the middle of the autism spectrum – the “forgotten area,” as Mayra calls it. But Mayra is quick to point out that “there is a lot of humanity in this spectrum.”
In 2008, Mayra published a book of Christian’s illustrations and his own original story. Can You See Me? A View of Our World by an Adult with Autism features Christian as the main character. In it, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with a shark, who comes to look beyond the labels society has placed on Christian and recognize him as a person with much to contribute. The book provides unusual and refreshing insight into the mind of a young adult with autism. Click Image To Read More Or To Purchase This Book.
Inspired by Christian, Mayra established Art Possibilities — a non-profit organization that addresses the need for adults with autism to develop life skills, social skills and on-premise job training. Based in Broward County, Florida, the organization provides creative arts training to develop the right side of the brain, while also teaching practical skills for everyday life and future sustenance.